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..,.-I FIELD AND FARM. j

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FIELD AND FARM. (From the Agricultural Gazette.") EARLY AND LATE WHEAT-SOWING. In raference to a controversy which is being waged as to the relative advantages of early and late wheat- sowing, it is interesting to notice that wheat was commonly sown a hundred years ago much earlier than it usually is nowadays. In the reports of the first B.ard of Agricultural there are repeated notices of September sowing, and a few enthusiasts of early work put the crop in even in August. In such cases there must have been a need of hoeing in the autumn, and the field would lie in very wet condition after that operation. Probably the controversy will last as long a? agriculture endures; for, as with other kinds of farm work "sauce for the goose" is not necessarily sauce for the gander." For some dis- tricts or soils early sowing, and for others late drilling, is recommended by the results of experi- ence. We have known light or poor land to be regularly sown early in a parish where the heavy land was rarely sown before the latter part of Octo- ber or the first hilf of November, the difference having "he sanction of the best farmers. But, apart from differences in relation to soil, the period of sowing which proves best in one season occasionally proves the worst in another. If there were any security that November would be a fairly dry month, and neither frosty, nor to be immediately followed by hard frost, many good farmers of beavv land would prefer that month to any other for sowing wheat but, as there is no such security, it is very risky to defer the commencement of the work longer than the middle of October. Thirty years ago, when a good deal of the wheat land of the country was more highly farmed than it is now, late sowing was much in favour in some strong land districts where the work is done earlier at the present time. The change has been brought about partly by wet Novembers, and partly by the removal of the fear of having wheat winter-proud, of which we have not heard much since the days of agricultural depression and close economy set in. THE REARING OF CALVES. A paper on "The Rearing of Heifer Calves for the Dairy" was recently read by Mr. W. F. Lawrence, of the C.C. Farm, Newton Rigg, Penrith to the members of the Northumberland and Durham Dairy Farmers' Society at Newcastle. Mr. Lawrence said that during the four and a-half years he had managed the Newton Rigg farm he had set himself, by careful experiment, to determine how calves could most eheaply be well reared and losses prevented. Of eighty-six calves which had been born alive only one had died, and that one suffered from internal haemorrhage from its birth. It was most important and desirable to keep the different calves separate from each other until they were two months old, as many losses occurred among young calves through being together. At Newton Rigg a calf was taken to a pen away from the cow-house as soon as it was born, got a good rub down with straw, and was well bedded and covered with the same material. In the course of half an hour or so the calf was fed with about a pint of its mother's first milk at blood heat. No medicine was given, the first milk containing all that is necessary both for feeding and as an aperient. Afterwards the following rules of feeding were ob- served First week: Its own mother's milk warm three times a day, commencing with about a pint and a-half at a time, and increasing to two quarts on the fourth day. Second week: Two quarts of warm new milk, not necessarily its own mother's, three times a day. Third week: Two quarts of warm milk, half new and half skim or separated, three times a day, with a half-pint of linseed soup to each quart of skim milk. Fourth week: Same as the third, with a handful of sweet meadow hay to nibble at. Fifth week: Two and a-half quarts of warm skim milk three times a day, a half-pint of linseed soup to each quart, and a little sweet meadow hay after morning and evening meals; to be con- tinued with gradually increasing quantities of hay till the end of the eighth week. Ninth week Omit the linseed soup, and after the mid-day milk give a single handful of broken linseed cake and a little pulped swedes grass instead of swedes in summer; hay as before. Twelfth week: Omit mid-day milk and give fib. of mixed linseed cake and crushed oats, and half a gallon of pulped swedes (grass in summer) at mid- day, continued morning and evening skim milk and hay as before. If necessary, milk may be entirely discontinued at five months old, and lib. a day of mixed linseed cake and crushed oats be given to each calf, with increasing quantities of hay and roofs, sliced or whole, but if skimmed milk be plentiful it cannot be put to better use than giving the calves one or two drinks of it each day up to the age of eight or nine months. To prepare linseed soup put two pints of linseed to soak over- night in four gallons of water, boil and stir the next day for half an hour, and five minutes before the boiling is finished add lIb. of flour (previously 2 mixed with enough water to prevent it being lumpy) to this quantity of soup to counteract the laxative tendency of the linseed. Side by side with linseed soup cod-liver oil has been tried at Newton Bigg as a substitue for the removed cream, and it has answered admirably—quite as well as the boiled linseed. Where the cow's first milk is not available for new-born calves, ordinary new milk may be made to closely resemble it by adding the white of an egg and a teaspoonful of castor oil previously whipped in a little warm water to about two quarts of milk. Young calves require dry, comfortable, and sweet beds, and where such conditions are absent scour is often the result. There was nothing better than well- broken moss litter. He had come to the conclusion that it was best to keep spring-born calves in for the first year, except, perhaps, for a few hours a day on a pasture during the best summer months. Autumn- born calves were turned out all the summer. FAULTY BUTTER. Those through whose hands any quantity of dairy produce passes know full well (writes L. J. Lord) how easily a sample of butter may fall short of perfection, even though to all outward appearance it is every- thing that could be desired. Bad flavour from unsuitable feeding may usually be traced to the use of turnips, frozen roots, or cab- bage, the peculiarflavour of these foods going through the animal's system, and being reproduced in the milk and butter, when they are given in large quantities er under wrong circumstances. The remedies in this instance, which are almost as well known as the fault, are either to withold these foods till after milk- ing, or to give the roots steamed instead of raw. It is also stated that the addition of a little saltpetre to the milk or cream will prevent the production of the turnipy flavour. Sometimes, however, butter will become distinctly tallowy in taste, and this may either be due to the feeding, as when the Cows get a good bite of young clover or tare supplied with musty oilcake, or to the treatment which the butter undergoes after being made. Butter which has been put in cold storage or frozen is very apt to go off in this way; and the same thing occurs if the butter is left to stand for 11 any length of time in a strong light. Foreign rolled butter, Italian for example, will deteriorate in this way; this would be butter containing some amount of preservative, presumably boracic acid, but whether this substance has any direct effect in de- veloping the tallowy flavour must remain an open question. One other thing will hurt the flavour of what might otherwise be good butter, and that is overheating the cream before churning. It is becoming an acknowledged thing amongst the majority of dairy folk, that butter should be made up of distinctly granular fragments closely pressed or kneaded together, but not in such a way that the granular structure is obliterated. Butter that is greasy in appearance, or flaky rather than granular in texture, has been over-worked, if it has not been made in such a way that the butter grains were worked in the churn into one huge mass almost as soon as they formed. Such a proceeding would be sure to result in butter inferior in texture, and also in keeping qualities. A good butter should be firm but not hard when made; of course, it may easily become either soft. or hard afterwards according to surroundings, but injudicious feeding will sometimes affect the butter in this way. Foods which contain a high percentage of oil, such as linseed cake, tend to make the butter soft, an exception being cottonseed meal and cake, which, if given to the cows in large quantities, result in a hard butter. The amount of free moisture in butter is controlled very largely by the way in which the butter is manu- factured. In order to keep the water percentage as low as possible, one must avoid churning, washing, and brining at high temperatures; above all, the grain must be kept small, never allowing the butter to mass together in the churn, and then it must be well drained before being worked and made up. With large quantities of butter, or in dairies where there are no conveniences for allowing the butter to drain for any length of time, it is advisable to use a de- laiteuse or butter dryer, in which the butter grains are deprived of excess of moisture by centrifugal force. To get the best results from using this machine, it is important that the butter is taken out of the churn while the grain is quite small and in good condition, and that the drying cylinder is not overloaded. Winter-made butter is often of a very pale colour, whereas there is seldom any difficulty in getting butter of a good colour in the spring and summer time. This suggests that the feeding of the cow has something to do with the colour of the butter, and certainly it is so, inasmuch as the milk obtained when the cows are living solely on fresh grass invari- ably, if the buttermaker is not at fault, gives nicely- coloured butter.

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